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American Guinea Pigs (Breeding Facts, Traits, Life Span, FAQs & More)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: Sep 17, 2022

If you’re thinking about adding a Guinea Pig to your family, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you will learn about all the essentials of American Guinea Pigs, including different breeding facts, lifespan, traits, FAQs, and more.

By the end, you’ll know everything you need to know about these furry little creatures.

What is the American guinea pig?

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The American Guinea Pig is a small rodent that is often kept as a pet. They are social creatures that enjoy being around people, other guinea pigs, and other animals.

What are the American guinea pig breeds?

There are two main American guinea pig breeds: the English and the Wallaby.

The English guinea pig variety is the most common of these guinea pig breeds, and it has short fur that is available in a variety of colors, including black, brown, white, and red.

The Wallaby is less common, and it has longer fur that is typically white or cream-colored.

Where does the American guinea pig come from?

Guinea pigs originate from the Andes Mountains in South America.

The animals were originally domesticated by the Inca Empire in present-day Peru. Guinea Pigs played an important role in the Inca Empire, as they were often used in religious ceremonies.

Over time, guinea pigs spread to other parts of the continent, and they eventually made their way to Europe.

How did guinea pigs come to the United States?

The first shipment of guinea pigs to the USA was in 1627. It was recorded that a group of English settlers carried them to Jamestown, Virginia.

Guinea pigs quickly became popular pets in the colonies, and they were also used for medical research.

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Because of their popularity, people soon started to breed guinea pigs in North America.

Eventually, this domestic breeding led to the development of the American guinea pig, which is distinguished from its European cousins by its larger size and longer hair.

American guinea pig traits

American guinea pigs have short, smooth fur that is easy to groom. They come in a lot of colors, such as black, brown, and white.

Length and Weight

They are usually between 10 and 12 inches long, while their weight varies between 2 and 3 pounds.

Appearance

They have big, beautiful eyes, and their noses are somewhat pointed. Their ears are rounded and small and sit close to their head. They have short bodies and short legs.

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Behavior

Similar to all other guinea pig breeds, they are very active and enjoy exploring their habitat. They are also very social animals and enjoy interacting with their human companions.

American guinea pig personality

American guinea pigs are herd animals that enjoy the company of their fellow guinea pigs and other animals. They are also curious and active, often exploring their environments and playing with toys.

You should know that male guinea pigs can sometimes fight if they weren’t raised together. This is why it’s important to get two males that are around the same age if you want them to be friends.

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They are especially known for their outgoing and friendly personalities. They are often described as “cuddly” or “affectionate,” and typically enjoy being held and petted.

American guinea pigs are also known for their playful nature, and they often enjoy playing with toys and chasing after balls. However, make sure to be around while your guinea pig plays with toys, as they can sometimes get caught up in them and hurt themselves.

American guinea pig breeding facts

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American Guinea Pigs are popular pets. They are easy to care for and can provide years of companionship. If you’re thinking about breeding these guinea pigs, there are a few things you’ll need to know first.

Choosing the guinea pigs

They are social creatures, and it is best to keep them in pairs or small groups.

When breeding them, it is important to choose a healthy pair of animals that are of similar size and temperament.

If you are planning to breed your guinea pigs for the show, it is also important to select animals that conform to the standard for their particular variety.

Setting up a breeding colony

When setting up a breeding colony, it is best to provide each pair or group with its cage. This will help to reduce stress and minimize the spread of disease.

You should introduce the pair slowly, giving them time to get used to each other before breeding.

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Preparing a nesting box

You’ll need to prepare a nesting box for the female guinea pig.

This can be made out of cardboard or wood and should be large enough for the female guinea pig to move around comfortably.

It’s also important to provide plenty of hay, as this will help keep the nesting box clean and dry.

When are guinea pigs ready for breeding?

Both male and female guinea pigs reach their sexual maturity at around four months of age, but you should not breed them until they have at least six months.

When the female guinea pig is ready to breed, she will usually give birth to two or three baby guinea pigs, called “kits.” The kits will need to be kept warm and dry, so it’s important to check on them regularly.

The gestation period for guinea pigs lasts 59 days, and mothers usually give birth without any trouble. You should allow the mothers to recover for a few days before introducing them back into the guinea pig colony.

The kits should be weaned at around three weeks of age.

American guinea pig health and lifespan

American guinea pigs have an average lifespan of 4-6 years, although this can vary depending on factors such as diet, exercise, and genetics.

For example, a guinea pig who is well-fed and lives in a clean environment tends to live longer than those who do not.

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Additionally, a guinea pig that gets plenty of exercise is less likely to develop health problems related to obesity.

Also, some guinea pigs are born with neurological or genetic conditions that shorten their life expectancy.

While there is no guarantee that a guinea pig will live to a ripe old age, taking good care of them will give them the best chance possible.

Caring for American guinea pigs

American guinea pigs are relatively easy to care for. They do not require a lot of space and can be kept in a small cage or enclosure.

It is necessary to provide your guinea pig with plenty of hay, fresh vegetables, and water. It is also important to give them access to a hiding place, as a guinea pig is a prey animal and tends to feel stressed without a place to hide.

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They should be groomed regularly, and their nails should be trimmed every few weeks. It is also important to make sure that their cage is cleaned regularly.

These guinea pigs are social animals and enjoy interacting with their human companions. Most guinea pigs can be trained to do simple tricks and will often come when called by name.

American guinea pig breed health notes

Good health is vital for your American Guinea Pig. These small, social creatures rely on you for everything they need, so it’s important to understand their basic needs and how to keep them healthy.

In addition to socializing with their own kind, they also enjoy spending time with their human companions. Take some time each day to sit with your guinea pig and offer them a few gentle strokes. This will help them feel secure and loved, and it will also give you a chance to bond with your guinea pig.

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They are also known for being vocal creatures, and they will often “purr” when they are content. If you notice your pet making high-pitched noises or chattering their teeth, this could be a sign of distress.

They have a tendency to overeat, so it’s important to offer them a balanced diet and monitor their food intake. A diet of fresh vegetables and hay is ideal for a guinea pig, and supplements can be given occasionally if recommended by a veterinarian.

By taking the time to understand their basic needs, you can help ensure that these sensitive creatures always have the best possible care, and prolong your guinea pig’s life.

How to train your American guinea pig? (step-by-step guide)

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Training your American guinea pig is a great way to bond with your pet and give them some mental stimulation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:

  1. Choose a command. Before you begin training, it’s important to choose a word or phrase that you will use as the command. This could be something like “come,” “sit,” or “spin.” Pick something that is easy for you to say and that won’t be confused with any other commands.
  2. Get your guinea pig’s attention. Once you have chosen a command, you need to get your guinea pig’s attention before you can start training. You can do this by calling their name or by making a loud noise.
  3. Reward good behavior. When your American Guinea Pig does what you’ve asked, be sure to reward them with a treat or verbal praise. This will let them know that they are doing what you want and will help to reinforce the behavior.
  4. Be patient. Training takes time and patience, so don’t get discouraged if your American Guinea Pig isn’t catching on right away. With some practice, they’ll be performing tricks in no time!

Learning your American Guinea Pig tricks will be fun for both you and your pet. With a little patience and some delicious treats, you can teach them all sorts of fun tricks.

Homemade treats for your American guinea pig

American Guinea Pig breed is relatively easy to care for, and one of the best ways to keep them healthy is to provide them with a nutritious diet. While there are many commercial guinea pig foods available, it is also possible to make your own homemade guinea pig treats.

Hay balls

One simple recipe is for hay balls. Start by collecting a handful of fresh hay, then add a small amount of water. Use your hands to form the hay into small balls, and place them in your guinea pig’s cage. Hay balls are a great way to add variety to your guinea pig’s diet and provide essential nutrients.

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Carrot pellets

Another easy treat to make at home is carrot pellets. Start by cooking some carrots until they are soft, then mash them into a paste. Next, use a spoon to drop small pellets of carrot paste onto a baking sheet. Bake the pellets in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, then let them cool before giving them to your guinea pig.

Herb-sprinkled hay

Finally, you can also make a simple hay-based treat by sprinkling some dried herbs onto a piece of fresh hay. Rosemary, parsley, and thyme all make good choices for guinea pigs. Simply place the herb-sprinkled hay in your guinea pig’s cage, and watch as they enjoy their fragrant treat.

Homemade treats are a great way to add variety and nutrition to your guinea pig’s diet, and they’re also lots of fun to make. So get creative and see what kinds of treats you can come up with for your guinea pig.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The American Guinea Pig breed is a popular pet choice for many families. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about these delightful animals.

Do American guinea pigs bite?

The American guinea pig doesn’t usually bite, although they may nip if they are scared. If you are worried that your guinea pig may bite, it is important to watch over interactions between your guinea pig and small children.

How much does an American guinea pig cost?

One American guinea pig usually costs somewhere around $20 or $30. Prices can vary depending on the animal’s age and color, as well as any unusual markings.

Where to get the American guinea pig?

The American guinea pig can be purchased from pet stores, breeders, or rescue organizations.

Do American guinea pigs like to be held?

American guinea pigs love to spend time with humans. They generally do not mind being held, but they should not be handled roughly.

What do guinea pigs eat?

Guinea pigs have a diet that consists mostly of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small number of pellets.

How many guinea pig breeds exist?

American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes 13 different guinea pig breeds. Some of the most popular include the American, Peruvian, Abyssinian, and Teddy.

These are just a few of the things that you should know about these amazing animals. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a veterinarian or other pet care professional.

Final thoughts

The American guinea pig is a popular pet choice for many families. They are relatively easy to care for and do not require a lot of space. One American Guinea Pig typically costs between $20 and $30.

They are herd animals and enjoy spending time with other guinea pigs, as well as their human companions, and will often seek out attention and affection. You can give them hay, fresh vegetables, homemade treats, and water. Don’t forget to provide them with access to a hiding place.

References:

Author

Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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